Employer Guide to Reemployment Assistance Benefits (Formerly known as Unemployment Compensation Benefits)

Employer Guide
Reemployment Assistance Benefits
R. 03/13
(Formerly known as Unemployment Compensation Benefits)
Table of Contents
Monetary Qualifications.............................................1
During the 2012 Regular Session of the Florida Legislature,
the Unemployment Compensation program was rebranded
as the Reemployment Assistance Program. Although
the program remains an entitlement program under the
Social Security Act and the Federal Unemployment Tax
Act, Florida’s policymakers have focused the program on
assisting the unemployed to gain new employment.
Qualifying for Benefits...............................................2
Reemployment Assistance Benefits..........................1
Audit of Claimant’s Wages........................................3
New Hire Program.....................................................3
Claims for Benefits....................................................3
How Benefits Are Charged........................................4
Statement of Benefit Charges...................................4
Reimbursement Invoice.............................................4
Short-Time Compensation........................................5
Unemployed workers covered under the Florida
Reemployment Assistance Program Law receive weekly
benefits if eligible and fully qualified. These benefits
are paid from the Florida Unemployment Compensation
Trust Fund. The fund is made up of taxes received from
employers subject to the law and from interest earned by
the fund. Taxes paid to the state by employers are used
solely for the payment of benefits to eligible unemployed
If benefits are to be paid to eligible workers and
withheld from individuals not entitled to payments,
the employer’s cooperation is important. Prompt and
accurate information from employers is essential to
the establishment of a claimant’s right to benefits. The
Department of Economic Opportunity (DEO), Division of
Workforce Services, must determine the eligibility of each
claim; which requires your prompt response to all requests
for information.
Employer’s Checklist for Compliance.......................5
It is the employer’s responsibility to furnish information
timely when requested. This is to the employer’s
advantage as it is one way to protect your tax rate.
Information furnished should be complete and accurate;
it should also be factual, never based on hearsay or
Glossary of Terms Used............................................6
Monetary Qualifications
For Information and Forms........................................6
An unemployed worker can qualify for benefits only if the
individual has worked in covered employment and earned
a minimum amount of wages in the base period.
Labor Disputes..........................................................5
1. The claimant’s base period is the first four of the last
five completed calendar quarters prior to filing the
2. There must be wages in two or more quarters of the
base period.
Department of Revenue, Reemployment Asistance Benefits, Page 1
3. There must be a minimum of $3,400 in the base
period and the total base period wages must equal
at least 1.5 times the high quarter wages.
4. The weekly benefit amount is 1/26th of the high
quarter wages (the minimum is $32 and the
maximum is $275).
5. The maximum benefits payable on a claim is 25
percent of the total wages in the base period.
However, beginning January 1, 2012 the maximum
benefits payable on a claim are capped based on
the average unemployment rate in Florida during
the third calendar quarter of the year prior to the
effective date of the claim. Claims filed during a
year may have maximum benefits ranging from 12
weeks, when the unemployment rate is 5 percent
or less, to 23 weeks when the unemployment rate
is 10.5 percent or higher. For each half percent
increase in the average unemployment rate above
5 percent, one week is added to the maximum
benefits. The maximum benefits payable on a claim
will therefore, range from $3,300 to $6,325.
Qualifying for Benefits
2. Suspended or discharged for misconduct connected
with work irrespective of whether the misconduct
occurs at the workplace or during working hours.
Misconduct (as defined in Chapter 443, F.S.)
includes, but is not limited to:
• Conduct showing a conscious disregard of an
employer’s interest as is found in deliberate
violation or disregard of the reasonable
standards of behavior which the employer
expects of the employee.
• Carelessness or negligence of such a degree
or recurrence as to manifest guilt, or wrongful
intent, or to show an intentional and substantial
disregard of the employer’s interests or of
the employee’s duties and obligations to the
• Chronic absenteeism or tardiness in deliberate
violation of a known policy of the employer or
one or more unapproved absences following a
written reprimand or warning relating to more
than one unapproved absence.
• A willful and deliberate violation of a standard
or regulation of this state by an employee of an
employer licensed or certified by this state, which
would cause the employer to be sanctioned or
have its license or certification suspended.
• A violation of an employer’s rule, unless the
claimant can demonstrate that no knowledge
of rule was provided by the employer; the rule
is not lawful or related to the job environment
and performance; or the rule is not fairly or
consistently enforced.
To be eligible for benefits, the worker must:
1. Be totally or partially unemployed.
2. File an initial claim for benefits by Internet and report
as directed to file for subsequent weeks.
3. Have the necessary wage credits for work in
covered employment during the base period.
4. Have worked and earned three times the current
weekly benefit amount since the filing date of the
prior claim, provided the individual received benefits
on the prior claim.
5. Be able to work and available for work and actively
seeking work, and be registered for work in Employ
Florida Marketplace.
6. Complete an on-line initial skills review.
7. Participate in reemployment services, such as job
search assistance services, as directed by the
Regional Workforce Board.
8. Serve a waiting week, for which no benefits are
payable, after filing an initial claim.
A claimant may be disqualified because of the reason
for separation from work. The facts pertaining to the
circumstances causing the separation must be clearly
established. The following may disqualify an individual
from receiving benefits:
1. Voluntarily quit without good cause attributable to
the employing unit.
3. Suspended or discharged for misconduct connected
with work consisting of drug use as evidenced by a
positive, confirmed drug test.
4. Failed without good cause either to apply for
available suitable work or to accept suitable work
or to return to customary self-employment when so
directed by DEO.
5. Unemployed due to a labor dispute (which may
involve a strike or lockout) in active progress which
exists at the place of employment; and the individual
is participating in or financing or directly interested
in such labor dispute. In some cases, unemployment
due to a lockout may not be disqualifying.
6. Furnished false information or made a fraudulent
representation for the purpose of obtaining benefits
such as not reporting earnings or job refusals.
Willful misrepresentation is also cause for fine and
7. Receiving a retirement income from a base period
Department of Revenue, Reemployment Assistance Benefits, Page 2
8. Receiving or seeking unemployment benefits under
an unemployment compensation law of another
state or the United States, unless the appropriate
agency of such state or of the United States finally
determines that the individual is not entitled to such
unemployment benefits.
9. Alien, unless the individual has been lawfully
admitted for permanent residence or otherwise is
permanently residing in the United States under
appearance of law (including an alien who is lawfully
present in the United States as a result of the
provisions of the Immigration and Nationality Act).
10. Terminated from employment for violation of any
criminal law punishable by imprisonment or for any
dishonest act in connection with the individual’s
11. Receiving wages in lieu of notice or severance pay
applicable to a claim week, which is equal to or
greater than the claimant’s weekly benefit amount.
12. Incarcerated during a week of unemployment.
Audit of Claimant’s Wages
All claimants are audited each quarter by using the most
current employer wage records. A computer cross-match,
by social security number, of benefits paid and wages
reported is performed quarterly. If the computer identifies
a match, Form UCO-2 (Request for Breakdown of Wages
Paid) is generated and sent to the employer(s) reporting
wages for the same period in which benefits were being
paid. Employers who respond immediately are, in every
case, helping to prevent improper payments and abuse
of the reemployment assistance program. When it is
determined that a claimant has been improperly paid, the
experience rating account will be credited if the employer
is a base period employer on the claim. If the improper
payment was the result of fraud, the case may be referred
to the State Attorney’s Office for prosecution.
New Hire Program
Florida law requires all employers to report new hires and
rehired employees. This program is designed to aid in
locating noncustodial parents who are delinquent in child
support payments and detecting potential overpayment of
benefits in the Reemployment Assistance Program. The
New Hire Program’s success in accurately determining and
preventing fraud is dependent on employer cooperation
in submitting information on newly hired and rehired
employees. For information on New Hire Reporting, call
toll free, 888-854-4791, or visit the New Hire web site at
Claims for Benefits
under your area’s Regional Workforce Board, or by
visiting the Internet site for the Department of Economic
Opportunity at www.floridajobs.org. All claims must be
filed by Internet. When a claim is filed a Determination
Notice of Reemployment Assistance Claim Filed
(Form UCB-412) is mailed to all base period employers,
and also to any of the claimant’s most recent employers
who are outside of the base period. When the employer
has paid the claimant wages during the base period, the
notice will show, in addition to the claimant’s name and
social security number, the claimant’s available credits
(total benefits payable on the claim), and the percentage
of the benefits potentially chargeable to the employer’s
account. If such notice is received and the employer has
information that may affect the claimant’s eligibility for
benefits, a reply should be submitted immediately, to avoid
any improper payment of benefits to the claimant.
The employer should check the appropriate block(s) in
items A through H on the notice and furnish any requested
information. It is very important to respond to the notice
within 20 days from the mailing date. Responding timely
is the only way employers can preserve their account’s
eligibility for relief from benefit charges. A response should
state in detail, the reason or reasons for the worker’s
separation from the job. The employer’s statement should
contain all important facts such as exact dates, times, and
places in which incidents occurred; names of witnesses;
and reference to such agreements as union contracts,
commission agreements, medical reports, and any other
pertinent documents. In the absence of separation
information from an individual’s employer or employers,
the individual’s eligibility will be based on the claimant’s
To allow employers to respond to the UCB-412 as quickly
as possible, a reply to the notice can be made via the
Internet at www.fluidnow.com/aenr.
The law provides that claims be investigated through
written, telephonic, and electronic means. Employers
may be contacted by telephone by a Reemployment
Assistance claims adjudicator for information relating to
a job separation. After a determination on the claimant’s
eligibility for benefits has been issued, the claimant or the
employer, whichever is adversely affected, may appeal
the determination and request a formal hearing before an
appeals referee. The request must be made within 20 days
from the date the determination was mailed.
The notice to employers and determinations on claims can
be mailed to addresses other than the employer’s main
mailing address. They can be mailed to the locations of
various employer units within the state or regional offices
to enable a reply within the allotted 20 days. To have this
work properly, the wage report must group the employees
in the appropriate unit code. To submit a change to an
existing mailing address for an established unit of your
business, please submit a written request to:
An unemployed worker may receive information for filing a
claim for benefits at any local One-Stop Center operating
Department of Revenue, Reemployment Asistance Benefits, Page 3
Account Management - Mail Stop 1-5730
Florida Department of Revenue
5050 W Tennessee St
Tallahassee FL 32399-0160
Include your reemployment tax account number, the
old unit address, and the new address that you want
used. Make sure the request is signed by the appropriate
authority for your business.
How Benefits Are Charged
All benefits are paid from the Unemployment
Compensation Trust Fund and are charged to employers
on a percentage basis. The chargeable percentage is
based on the amount of wages each employer paid the
worker as compared to the worker’s total wages for
insured work during the base period of the claim. For
example, if there were only two base period employers,
each having paid $3,000 in the base period, each would
be chargeable with 50 percent of the benefits paid to the
Benefit payments made to any eligible claimant are
charged to the taxpaying employer’s experience rating
record when the employer paid the individual wages
of $100 or more within the base period of the claim. A
taxpaying employer who paid wages less than $100 will
not be charged.
Benefits paid to a claimant will not be charged to the base
period employer’s account only when the employer has
responded in writing to the claim within 20 days from the
mailing date of the notice of the claim with information
regarding the claimant and it is determined that:
• The claimant was separated under disqualifying
• The claimant was discharged for unsatisfactory
performance during an initial employment
90-day probationary period of which the worker
was notified within the first seven days of work.
• The claimant has refused without good cause
the employer’s offer of suitable work.
• The claimant received benefits improperly.
Employers may also receive Form UCB-9 (Employers
Verification of Claimants Employment) requesting wage
information for selected quarters. This form is initiated by
a claimant’s request for reconsideration when there is a
disagreement over the amount of reported or unreported
wages. The employer must respond to the request even
when the wages have already been reported on the
Employer’s Quarterly Report (RT-6) or the claimant has
been disqualified.
Remember: Wages must be reported for the period in
which they were paid, not earned.
A reimbursing employer is required to pay dollar-for-dollar
for the percentage of benefits paid to eligible former
employees. The percentage of benefit payments will be
billed to the reimbursing employer on a quarterly basis.
The law makes no provision to non-charge the account of
a reimbursing employer.
In the event an individual, who performed services for a
reimbursing employer, is disqualified, any benefits already
paid will be billed and the reimbursing employer will be
required to reimburse the full amount. DEO’s recovery of
benefits improperly paid will result in a refund or credit to
the reimbursing employer.
Statement of Benefit Charges
Taxpaying employers with benefit charges will be mailed
a Notice of Benefits Paid (RT-1) each quarter. The RT-1
is a notice showing the benefits paid to former workers
which have been charged to the employer’s account. If the
employer’s account is relieved of charges, a credit amount
will be listed on the RT-1. If there are questions about the
charges, call the Reemployment Assistance Information
Center at 1-877-846-8770. Any protest of the charges
may be mailed to Department of Economic Opportunity,
Division of Workforce Services, Reemployment Assistance
Program, RT-1 Unit, P.O. Drawer 5250, Tallahassee, Florida
Employers should examine the RT-1 carefully and notify
the Reemployment Assistance Program of any errors
within 20 days at the address above. This notice cannot
be used as a basis for protesting a claimant’s eligibility
to receive benefits for any reason that has already been
decided by the mailing of a determination, decision of an
appeals referee, or order of the Reemployment Assistance
Appeals Commission. If an appeal is pending on a claim
at the time the RT-1 is received, an adjustment to the
charge that may be required by the appellate authority will
be posted to the account during the following calendar
quarter. It is not necessary to further protest the charge.
Reimbursement Invoice
Reimbursing employers are mailed a Reemployment Tax
Reimbursement Invoice (RT-29) listing the benefits paid to
former employees. The total amount shown on the invoice
must be paid.
Employers should examine the RT-29 carefully and
report any errors within 20 days to the Department of
Economic Opportunity, Division of Workforce Services,
Reemployment Assistance Program, P.O. Drawer 5250,
Tallahassee, FL, 32314-5250. This notice can be used
as a basis for protesting a claimant’s eligibility to receive
benefits when the basis for the protest has not previously
been decided or is not currently under appeal. However,
such protest would not relieve the employer of the
requirement to reimburse for the benefit charges appearing
on the invoice. There are no provisions in the law to relieve
a reimbursing employer of the requirement to reimburse for
amounts posted on an invoice.
Department of Revenue, Reemployment Assistance Benefits, Page 4
Short-Time Compensation
4. The employer’s experience rating (tax rate)
Short-Time Compensation is a voluntary program that
permits prorated reemployment assistance benefits to
employees laid off for a portion of their workweek. To
participate, employers must have a ten-to-forty percent
reduction in their work force and have their plan/contract
approved by the Department of Economic Opportunity.
Additional information concerning Short-Time
Compensation and the application to enroll your business
in the program can be obtained at: www.floridajobs.org
under Special Programs. For complete information,
contact the Department of Economic Services ShortTime Compensation Coordinator, Reemployment
Assistance Claims, P.O. Drawer 5350, Tallahassee,
Florida 32314-5350; telephone 850-921-3599, or fax
5. Charges to an employment record for benefits paid
to former employees.
Labor Disputes
When a strike, lockout, or other labor dispute occurs
at a place of business, the employer must notify the
Reemployment Assistance Program as soon as possible.
A program investigator will prepare a report on the number
and classification of workers involved and a general
overview of the issues disputed. The employer will be
requested to furnish a list of all affected employees for the
purpose of screening for possible claims for benefits by
these workers.
The Department of Economic Opportunity, Division of
Workforce Services is a neutral party in such disputes.
One-Stop Centers will not refer workers to a business
while there is an ongoing dispute. Reemployment
assistance benefits will not be paid to those employees or
class of employees directly involved in the labor dispute.
To report a labor dispute in active progress at
your place of business, contact the Department of
Economic Opportunity, Division of Workforce Services,
Reemployment Assistance Benefits, Labor Dispute Unit,
P.O. Drawer 5250, Tallahassee, FL 32314-5250 or calling
866-778-7356 or 850-617-0410.
The Reemployment Assistance Program Law provides an
opportunity for a fair and impartial hearing for any party
to a determination issued by the Department of Economic
Opportunity or the Department of Revenue who is
adversely affected and disagrees with an action, including:
1. The qualification and eligibility of former workers
who file claims for benefits.
2. That an employing unit is a liable employer for
reemployment tax purposes.
3. The coverage of specific employees or classes of
6. Reimbursement requirements for certain
governmental and nonprofit organizations.
7. Audit findings.
Any appeal must be filed within 20 days from the mailing
date of the determination. If the 20th calendar day falls on
a Saturday, Sunday, or legal holiday, the appeal may be
filed on the next business day.
When filing an appeal, include the specific reason(s) for the
appeal and all pertinent facts and reasons why a different
ruling should have been made. An employer that was
previously a party to a benefit-claim determination and the
associated chargeability to its employment record cannot
later dispute the payment of benefits by protesting the
annual tax rate.
Immediately examine all reemployment assistance
correspondence when received. Carefully review the
time limit for submitting information and filing appeals.
If an appeal is not filed timely, the Appeals Referee or
Special Deputy will not have jurisdiction and the case
will be dismissed. The Appeal Information pamphlet,
UCA Bulletin 6, explains the appeals process for benefit
and chargeability appeals. The Special Deputy Appeals
pamphlet, UCA Bulletin 6SD, explains the appeals
process for liability, tax rate, and reimbursement cases.
More information is available at “File an Appeal” at
Employer’s Checklist for Compliance
■ Report all required data. Accurate social security
numbers and gross wages paid must be reported
for each employee. Your completed Employer’s
Quarterly Reports (RT-6) are due by the specific
statutory due dates (January 31, April 30, July 31,
and October 31). If paying by electronic funds
transfer (EFT), your funds must be transmitted
before 5:00 p.m., ET, on the business day prior to
the payment due date. Remember, your account
is debited on the business day following your
■ Post and maintain, in places readily accessible to
your workers, the notice To Employees (RT-83) that
satisfies your requirement under s. 443.151(1), F.S.,
to make available information concerning benefit
rights and claims for benefits. The notice can be
downloaded at www.myflorida.com/dor.
■ File all reports on time and respond to
correspondence within designated time periods.
■ Clearly delegate responsibility in your organization
for the timely response to correspondence
regarding reemployment assistance claims or tax.
Department of Revenue, Reemployment Asistance Benefits, Page 5
Make sure you notify the Department of
Revenue of the correct mailing address to send
correspondence concerning claims for benefits and
the correct mailing address for your reemployment
tax account. You may specify separate addresses
for the mailing of claims notices.
■ Attend all appeals hearings. The outcome may
affect your tax rate.
■ To report suspected fraud or abuse of Florida’s
Reemployment Assistance Program, call the fraud
hotline at 800-342-9909 or submit the information
online at www.floridajobs.org
■ Notify your nearest Department of Revenue Service
Center as soon as possible of any changes in
ownership, location, or type of business activity.
Employing Unit - An employing unit is any person,
partnership, corporation, association, trust, estate, Indian
tribe, or trustee or receiver that has employed any person
at any time.
Employment - Any service performed by an individual for
an employing unit.
Protest - A request for review of any determination
made with respect to an employer’s liability status, tax
rate, assessment of taxes, audit findings, or other action
affecting any employer’s account.
Redetermination - A written notice of review to a
determination on a claim for benefits issued by the
Reemployment Assistance Program or to a determination
involving an employer’s liability, tax rate, or other tax
matters issued by DOR. A redetermination is appealable.
■ Your reemployment tax account number (a seven
digit number) should be included on all reports,
checks, and correspondence. Correspondence
concerning a former employee should include the
employee’s social security number in addition to
your account number.
Tax Rate - The percentage used to compute
reemployment tax.
Glossary of Terms Used
Wages - Remuneration (payment, salary, or compensation)
for employment, including commissions, bonuses, back
pay awards, and the cash value of all remuneration paid in
any medium other than cash. The cash value of meals and
lodging will be exempt if it is included as a condition of
employment for the convenience of the employer.
Benefits - Reemployment Assistance Program payments
to eligible claimants.
Calendar Quarter - A period of three consecutive
months ending March 31, June 30, September 30, and
December 31 of any year.
Claimant - One who has applied for reemployment
assistance benefits.
DEO - Department of Economic Opportunity
Department - Florida Department of Revenue (DOR)
Determination - A decision made by DOR regarding an
employing unit’s liability, tax rate, assessment of taxes, or
a decision made by the DEO’s Reemployment Assistance
Program regarding a claimant’s monetary or non-monetary
eligibility for benefits.
Electronic Funds Transfer (EFT) - The transfer of funds
between accounts by electronic means. When a payment
is made using EFT, funds are electronically transferred
from the employer’s bank to the Florida Department of
Revenue’s bank.
Electronic Reporting - The electronic transfer of tax
report information to the Florida Department of Revenue.
The electronic report replaces the paper report.
Employer - An employing unit that has met the criteria of
liability for payment of reemployment tax.
Initial tax rate - 2.7 percent (.0270)
Standard tax rate - 5.4 percent (.0540)
Maximum tax rate - 5.4 percent (.0540)
Sick and accident disability payments paid by an
employing unit to an employee in the six calendar months
after the calendar month the employee stopped working
are considered wages. Payments made under a workers’
compensation law are not considered wages.
Tips are covered wages if received while performing
services that constitute employment and are included in a
written statement furnished to the employer.
For Information and Forms
Information on Reemployment Assistance Program
Benefits and Claims or forms can be found on the Internet
site at www.floridajobs.org.
To speak with a Reemployment Assistance Claims
representative, call 850-617-0410.
Information on Appeals (to benefit determinations) can
be found on the Internet at www.floridajobs.org or call
To report suspected fraud or abuse of Florida’s
Reemployment Assistance Program, call the fraud hotline
at 800-342-9909 or submit the information online at
Department of Revenue, Reemployment Assistance Benefits, Page 6
Social security numbers (SSNs) are used by the
Florida Department of Revenue as unique identifiers for
the administration of Florida’s taxes. SSNs obtained
for tax administration purposes are confidential under
sections 213.053 and 119.071, Florida Statutes, and not
subject to disclosure as public records. Collection of
your SSN is authorized under state and federal law. Visit
our Internet site at www.myflorida.com/dor and select
“Privacy Notice” for more information regarding the state
and federal law governing the collection, use, or release
of SSNs, including authorized exceptions.
Department of Revenue, Reemployment Asistance Benefits, Page 7